Women in agriculture have gotten a beating in the media this week, all because they are tying them to what they dub “Big Ag“. The media authors – ironically women themselves – must just be jealous of the opportunities that farm women are getting to talk to urban women about the food they raise, their families, and their livelihood on the farm. Or it’s because they are from a Nebraska farm, working for the Environmental Working Group and are jealous they didn’t get picked for the role of a spokeswoman.
This new program being called out is CommonGround. This farmer-led program, was started to reach an important audience of consumers – women! These farmers believed that reaching women consumers with women farmers made perfect sense. Women who buy food for their families. Women who are making purchasing decisions. Women who want to know where their food is coming from and if it is safe.
CommonGround is a resource to help connect the farm women with urban women. They are getting the conversation started on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, too. Or read from real media outlets that tell the true story of farm women here and here.
The media has dubbed CommonGround to “…attempt to put a more feminine, friendly and empathetic face on large-scale agriculture by using women farmers to appeal to suburban and urban grocery shoppers–most of whom are women themselves.” This is simply not true. Women in agriculture are the most genuine women in the world. Who else has the talent, patience and toughness to carry a little one on her hip while getting in a couple of calves that got out, while her husband is in the field, whom she is communicating with on her cell phone and hoping the dinner isn’t burning on the stove! These women have what it takes to grow food and children for our future.
Luckily, I’m not the only one who disagrees with those media “know-it-alls” who probably don’t even have a clue what it takes for their food to get to their plate. Thanks to Sara Wyant for her point of view, “Don’t mess with these farm women“.
They also criticize the leadership of agriculture for having very few women involved. Well, here is one smart lady, Pam Johnson, who does have a role on a national board and her view of women in agriculture: “Getting more women involved in ag“.